James Havard, ‘Dat Gum It Go Home!’, 2013-2016, MILL Contemporary

Signature: Signed bottom right

About James Havard

For more than 40 years, James Havard has been producing paintings, prints, collages, and sculptures that defy categorization, ranging from abstraction and illusionism to figuration, combining and pioneering styles, and drawing from indigenous and tribal cultures and art history to create an exuberant visual language at once hermetic and universal. He first gained recognition in the 1970s for pioneering an approach to painting, known as “Abstract Illusionism,” in which individual brushstrokes and abstract forms were shaded to appear three-dimensional. By the late 1980s, he turned to figuration, populating his compositions with radically pared-down, roughly hewn male and female figures inspired by Native American, African tribal, and pre-Colombian art, cave painting, and children’s drawings, and recalling Art Brut. Raw, expressive, and, ultimately, enigmatic, these figures also appear in Havard’s boxed collages and sculptures—a medium he began exploring in 2002.

American, b. 1937, Galveston, Texas, based in Pennsylvania